We had a lot of fun marveling over the details of the hand knit Royal Wedding, created by Everett Library staff members. One of the staff members, came across the book, Knit Your Own Royal Wedding by Fiona Goble,
in acquisitions and had the brilliant idea to knit the entire wedding party before the wedding. The wedding was only about 3 weeks away, so she quickly conspired with her fellow staff members and they decided which ones, each of them would knit. Each of the figures show an amazing amount of detail and they finished in time to enjoy a lovely tea party on the wedding day, dressed in their lovely tea dresses and hats. The knitted Royal Wedding then went on display at the library and gathered regional awareness, through an article in the Everett paper
, which then led to national coverage on CNN
and in Simply Knitting magazine. The display was entered in the Evergreen State Fair
and won four ribbons, First Place, Best Presentation, Creative Award and Special Award.
They have started a new project now for the holidays. Their new project is the patterns from the book, 'Twas the Knits before Christmas by Fiona Goble
. They really enjoyed working together on the Royal Wedding project and have plans for another project in the spring. It was wonderful hearing about their collaborative efforts and inspiring us to keep our knitting community strong.
We also enjoyed a wonderful presentation by Mary Donaty of Paradise Found Fiber Farm
in Clinton, WA. She told us how she got started with breeding llamas, which led to her selling their fiber. She soon bought alpacas and pygora goats as well and is kept very busy tending to and processing their fiber for sale. She brought many samples, which we all got to fondle a bit and explained the grading process and differences in the types of fiber from each of the animals. She also explained the many variances that can happen within a breed, which leads to there not being a true standard, when we asked which fiber was the best to work with. Mary told us that it greatly depends on the individual animal and then on the mill that processes that fiber, which leads to the quality of fiber that you may get. With some of her animals, she hand plucks the guard hairs from the fiber, because doing so by machine would lead to a larger loss of the desirable fiber. I found it amazing that with pygora goats, the different colors did not amount to a hugely different color in the fiber, because the color in in the guard hairs, not the fiber. Therefore a black goat will give you a slightly grayish fiber, and a caramel goat will give you an off-white fiber. Both of these look fairly white on their own and the true color differences are best seen when they are held next to each other. Paradise Found Fiber Farm is open weekends 10 - 4 and by appointment on weekdays. Be sure to visit their Fiber Shack while you are there to pick up some of the gorgeous and luxurious fiber and knitted items she has available.
I really enjoyed the double feature program. There was a wonderful energy and we had a fairly full house for these wonderful speakers. Thank you to the Everett Library Staff and Mary Donaty for a fun and educational meeting.
~Tandy, SKG Webmaster
The past few weeks have been filled with lots of fibery goodness for me! I attended the first annual Fiber Fusion Northwest held at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds. It was sponsored by the North Sound Alpaca Association, and it was delightful. They had a nice area set up for spinners, lots of displays, workshops and of course my favorite, the vendors! There were
folks selling all kinds of fiber related items, from raw fiber, beautifully dyed roving and yarn to finished items. There was a man there who was spinning on a great wheel, the kind you must stand to use. There were hourly raffles, and I was lucky enough to win a beautiful 100% alpaca sweater. I attended this event on both days, and am very much looking forward to going again next year.
Then there was our own guild’s 2nd Annual Knitters’ Retreat at Camp Huston in Gold Bar. It was a fun filled weekend with thirty-four wild and wise women, enjoying food, wine and lots of fiber. I loved gathering in our lodge by the fire, chatting, laughing, knitting, laughing, drinking wine, laughing, spinning, and did I mention laughing? All of our meals were included, but that didn’t stop us from making sure that no one went hungry between meals. We enjoyed a huge spread of gourmet treats brought by the participants. You really haven’t lived until you’ve sampled homemade French macarons made by Sherry Toly and April Wilson, who were taught to make them in Paris by a French chef. The lavender and honey ones were my favorite.
Although there were no planned events other than meals, we played games, including one brought by Maureen (Mo) Galbreath called “Last Knitter Standing”. Everyone had to cast on 10 stitches and knit two rows before the game began. We were issued challenges, and if you met the challenge you got to knit a row or two, but if you failed, you had to rip out! Some people had to knit with their eyes closed! I would definitely recommend this game if you have a small knitting group of friends who want something fun to do.
Of course, there were hijinks as well. Saturday evening, Charisa and Mo entered the room with guns a’blazing – foam disc guns. That livened things up even more. Retaliation occurred, in the form of wrapping their pillows (under the pillow cases) with Saran wrap, and placing firewood logs under their mattresses. It really says something that neither of them noticed, and slept like babes.
All in all, the retreat was a rousing success. I came home on a “knitters high”, with deepened friendships, new friendships, and many great memories. A hearty “Thank You” to Charisa, Mo and Marilyn, who made the weekend a special one to remember.
~Barb, SKG President 2012
I was really pleased to see that we had so many knitters attend the meeting. I really enjoyed Charisa's presentation on how to take good photos. Two things that really stood out for me was:
- get it off the bed/table-great advice, I'm looking forward to playing around with that idea and
- use your camera to capture colors in nature for inspiration on choosing color schemes for knitting projects~ what a novel idea! :)
I really liked Melissa's [Knit New(s)]
presentation. She did an awesome job and her visuals were beautiful~ I felt really nostalgic, my mom used to make beautiful granny afghans, the ones that Melissa showcased were lovely. I also really related to what Melissa said, during her presentation, about always choosing black/browns or neutral colors for garments... I do the same, I don't feel confident picking colors a lot of times, and having some inspiration from nature or a photographic source would be great.
I liked that we all got to vote on a bag for the Seattle to Portland Yarn Train, and I'm excited that I'm going to be able to attend this year. It will be my first time on this trip and only my second time on a train.
I think this is going to be a great year for the guild, and it's great to be able to connect with so many creative people.
~Lois, SKG Secretary, 2011-2012
Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework
Rather than a specific technique, my tip this month is to pick up a specific reference book, out of print but readily available at used bookstores. It is the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. It first came out in the late 1970’s and then was revised in the 1980’s. Since then there have been other knitting specific reference books published, but none compare to this.
It has chapters on crochet, tatting, quilting, and more. But even if you only use it for the knitting, it is worth it. It doesn’t have some of the more recent techniques like Mobius or i-cord. But it has the clearest photographs and illustrations. And what it does have that other books don’t, is discussion of when and why one technique might be better than another in any given situation. For example, many basic knitting books give instructions for several different cast on’s. But the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework not only shows them more clearly, it specifies which is more elastic, which is better to use when firmness is needed, etc.
Have you cringed when you saw the words “provisional cast on” in a pattern? No problem if you have this book on your shelf. One online reviewer I saw recently stated that she had long ago sold or given away her copy, only to re-buy it later because it is so indispensable. Of course you can try amazon.com
. But I would like to suggest your local used bookstores as well as two sites that list the stock of used booksellers across the country, abebooks.com
. I have also had great luck with knitting books from powells.com
. - Aleen Caplan YamasakiIf you have a question or suggestion for Tips & Tricks, please email Aleen.
Worldwide Knit in Public Day: Seattle International Fountain (or the Center House if it's rainy) -- 11am to 3pm, 18 June 2011. Tell all your knitting friends! Let's show the public the many faces of knitters. Click on the Events
section for more details.
The results of the poll for the Worldwide location meetup are in -- it was close! We'll be meeting up for our knit out at Seattle Center/International Fountain if it is sunny, and in the Seattle Center House, if it is rainy.
Snohomish folks - we'll pull together carpools - please spread the word with your knitting friends to meet up for a knit out.